The common perception about divorce is that it is inherently contentious with you and your spouse on opposite sides of the table fighting it out in court through your attorneys to get as much as possible. No wonder why people are terrified of going through a divorce! It doesn’t have to be that way.
There is a better way. Divorce mediation enables you to end your marriage without destroying your relationships. Divorce mediation costs less in terms of money and stress than a litigated divorce. Divorce mediation also does less damage to your kids and extended family than a litigated divorce.
Divorce Mediation is a good option if you want to:
- Put aside the frustration and pain of the present moment to plan productively for your future.
- Maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect through the divorce process—even in the presence of disagreements.
- Prioritize the needs of your children and your needs as a parent.
- Work cooperatively to solve issues.
- Behave in an ethical manner toward your spouse and get the same in return.
- Keep control of the divorce process between you and your spouse instead of being at the mercy of the court system.
- Keep your divorce private and not make public the issues between you and your spouse.
How Divorce Mediation Works
In divorce mediation, you and your spouse meet with a trained divorce mediator to work through the issues that need to be sorted out to finalize the divorce. The divorce mediator remains neutral. They do not take sides while they facilitate discussion and guide you to creative decisions that – as much as possible – work for all members of your family. The divorce mediator’s job is to create a divorce agreement to submit to the family court at the end of the mediation process and keep contact with the court as brief as possible.
In divorce mediation, the parties meet with a neutral mediator or a co-mediation team. The parties advocate and negotiate for themselves while using the services of consulting attorneys outside the mediation sessions. The neutral mediator cannot give either party advice or assist them in advocating their position. The divorce mediator can offer their opinion on the law in general but not in relation to your specific circumstances. In mediation, both parties are requested or encourage to meet with individual attorneys to review the final agreement.
What is the Divorce Mediation Process?
The steps in a typical mediation consist of a series of meetings and each meeting is typically 2-3 hours long. At the first meeting, the divorce mediator describes the process of mediation, the Dos, the Don’ts, and Must Not’s. The divorce mediator drafts all the necessary paperwork with the Court and ensures proper service by the State Marshal (if necessary).
The divorce mediator helps you identify all the issues that need to be resolved, some of which may not be obvious. Together you set the course to resolve all of them. In a safe, non-confrontational environment, the divorce mediator also helps you understand your own needs, the needs of your spouse, and the needs of you children. Remember, a mediator controls the process, you control the decisions making.
After clarifying the scope of the issues, the divorce mediator helps you identify all the financial information both spouses need to gather such as bank or brokerage statements, appraisals, retirement account statements, etc. When needed, the divorce mediator will suggest consulting with other professionals such as financial or tax experts, appraisers, child psychologists, and other attorneys.
Many couples in conflict are skeptical about divorce mediation. They think there is no way they and their spouse can come to agreement on little issues let alone the big ones. Our divorce mediators have years of experience working with couples who didn’t believe they could come to a mutually agreeable divorce settlement. Call our office today to learn how we can help you.